According to an official of Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), wind energy is cost effective and can become a substitute to thermal power generation with investments from private sector.
According to data available with Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) and Pakistan Meteorological Department, preliminary site surveys carried out in late nineties and early years of this century indicated that coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces and some northern areas possess adequate wind resources.
The official reports identify that in Sindh Province, district Thatta, Karachi, Hyderabad and Badin and in Balochistan Province, district Gwadar and Makran Coastal Belt possess prospective sites for development, installation and commissioning of wind farm projects.
The government plans to achieve up to 2,500MW from wind energy by the end of 2015.
The first energy wind power project in Pakistan started working with a 50MW generation capacity in Jhimpir, Sindh in December 2012.
Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) recently approved a New Park Energy Phase-I, 400MW wind project near Port Qasim.
Pakistan has the potential of producing approximately 150,000MW of wind energy, says a recent United States Agency for International Development (USAID) report. The wind projects can fetch an investment of around two billion dollars.
According to another study, Pakistan has identified cumulative potential to generate 3.2 million MW from renewable energy resources including 340,000MW from wind, 2.9 million MW from solar, 50,000MW from hydro (large), 3,100MW from hydro (small), 1,800MW from biogas cogeneration and 500MW from waste.
A mean annual wind speed (at 10 m and 30 m above ground) of 18 kmph and 22 kmph respectively is considered as the minimum required for feasible generation of electricity.
Knowing the growing energy requirement of the country, and depleting energy resource within the country, the government deems to diversify its energy mix so that dependency over imported fuel may be reduced and some percentages of power requirement may be met through indigenously available renewable energy technologies.
During wind mapping of coastal areas of Sindh and Balochistan provinces, data from 20 wind monitoring stations have been collected and analysed.
The data indicate that a wind corridor is available in the general area from Hyderabad to Kati Bandar having immense potential to generate electricity.
Developing wind power plants in Jhimpir, Gharo, Keti Bandar and Bin Qasim in Sindh, will not only reduce electricity shortages but will also ease burden of oil imports of $ 12 billion annually.
The bulk of this wind resource is derived from the energy of the great southwest monsoon system which blows over Pakistan from June to September. This wind corridor extends up to Rajhistan Province (India) where several wind farm projects have been installed by Government of India.
The market analyses of wind turbine generators (WTGs) indicate that the manufacturing industry has developed commercial WTGs of 5 MW capacity.
The available wind potential demands that wind turbines of at least 750 kW capacity should be installed for power generation.
Wind farms will help in reducing environmental consequences due to reduction in dependency over fossil fuels for power generation.